High end Italian cuisine is right at home in Finnieston
On arriving at Rossini in Finnieston, we were immediately struck by the quaint, cafe style interior of the restaurant. It felt like the kind of place you would pop into for a quick bite to eat on a busy day. However, on looking at the menu we quickly realised that the food on offer was far more upmarket than we’d realised. The menu was relatively limited but what was on offer were clearly dishes that had been chosen carefully and honed to perfection. There was also the option to have the chef specially prepare classic pasta dishes such as carbonara or arrabiata, which is definitely an attractive option for less adventurous diners.
We were sat in a spacious booth at the back of the restaurant, which was relatively quiet but it was a weekday lunch time. Our waitress was attentive and eager to explain any queries we had about the dishes. She seemed very well informed and enthusiastic about the food, which made the dining experience particularly enjoyable. Unfortunately there wasn’t a huge range of vegetarian dishes, and as Laurie and I are both vegetarians this wasn’t ideal, but for meat eaters there was plenty to choose from.
For starters I had the Panzerotto, a small calzone filled with mozzarella, tomato and various herbs. The menu describes the dish as one of Italy’s most popular street foods and I can totally see why. It was delicious and would be easy to walk and eat at the same time. The dish was served in a wrapper to mimic the authentic Italian street food style after which the dish is inspired and I would return to Rossini for the Panzerotto alone.
Laurie ordered the Caprese Salad for starter - a classic italian staple and difficult to get wrong, but nonetheless this dish delivered on quality. It was beautifully presented and the ingredients were second to none, with multi colored heirloom tomatoes and a generous portion of fresh mozzarella cheese.
For my main course I had Orecchiette Alla Barese which, for those who are as clueless as I was, is Italian “little ears” pasta (not actually little ears just shaped like them), served with turnip tops and pecorino cheese. Our waitress explained that turnip tops are essentially kind of like broccoli but with a bitter taste. I will admit, I’ve never really tried anything like them but they worked very well with the rest of the ingredients. I’m not sure that they’re something I’d eat regularly, they were a bit out of my culinary comfort zone, but I’m always up for trying new foods.
Laurie opted for one of the only other vegetarian options, the Fregola Sarda Verdure E Pecorino, which marked a departure from more bog standard options like Penne Arrabiata. If you're going to spend the money to eat out you might as well order something you can't make at home. Rossini definitely serves food for a refined palate, and the dishes offer a distinctive taste you'll struggle to find in other local italians.
The pricing is definitely out of range for the average student, with main courses ranging from approximately £11 to £17. So you’d definitely want to save this one for a special occasion. Rossini offers a classic dining experience with the opportunity to try unique flavour combinations, but this individual, tailored experience does come at a premium. The food was tasty and the presentation pristine and, if for no other reason, it is definitely worth the trip for a taste of something more unusual.